Overnight, Sony has released details of its Alpha 9 III (α9 III) camera, which comes equipped with the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor.

Front view of the new α9 III. (Source: Sony.)

Claimed as a ‘ground-breaking’ model, the global shutter full-frame image sensor will support burst speeds at up to 120 fps with no distortion or camera blackout and, thanks to Sony’s most advanced AF system to date, it can achieve up to 120 times AF/AE focus calculations per second. Flash sync is also possible at all shutter speeds. The new α9 III’s full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor offers a top resolution of approximately 24.6 effective megapixels It is paired with the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine and includes high-density focal plane phase detection AF. A designated AI processing unit uses Real-time Recognition AF to recognise a wide variety of subjects with high precision in both stills and movie recording modes. Sony claims significant improvements in human eye recognition performance with Real-time Recognition AF and Real-time Tracking automatically recognising, tracking and focusing on the eyes of a specified subject. Built-in 5-axis in-body image stabilisation provides up to 8.0 stops of shake correction, while shutter speeds extend as high as 1/80000 second (1/16000 second during continuous shooting) for distortion-free recordings.

The α9 III features selectable release lag modes which allow the user to prioritise release lag or viewfinder/monitor display. The newly installed Pre-Capture function allows the user to go back up to one second and record the moment before pressing the shutter. Also available is a Continuous Shooting Speed Boost change during shooting plus enhanced burst stamina that ensures that important moments are reliably captured. A large buffer memory and increased overall system speed allow up to approximately 390 Fine JPEG images to be captured in one continuous 30 fps burst. Customisable focus areas have been expanded to include from XS to XL instead of the previous S, M and L sizes. The Preset Focus/Zoom function allows preset focus and zoom settings to be memorised in the camera for quick recall.

The α9 III is the first in the Alpha series to be able to record 4K 120p high-frame-rate video without cropping. It also records high-resolution 4K 60p videos with 6K oversampling. Special movie modes include S-Cinetone recording, along with S-Log3 and support for user’s imported LUTs. New features for the α9 III include a playback image filter that allows the user to efficiently select a large number of images using high-speed continuous shooting, and a function menu that can be used even during image playback. Both features strongly support professional workflows from shooting right through to delivery. The α9 III can transfer data up to twice as fast as the α9 II. 5 GHz communication offers maximum speed and stability for news and sports shooters who need to deliver immediately via FTP, as well as for studio environments. The α9 III allows stills and movies to be recorded to memory media in numerous ways including the two media slots that support CFexpress Type A cards as well as UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards.

The α9 III has yet to appear on Sony’s Australian website but overseas websites claim it will be released in January 2024 at US$5999 for the body only. We’ll keep you posted on local release dates and pricing.

UPDATE: The α9 III is now listed on Sony’s Australian website as ‘available soon’. No actual release date has been published and the RRP is not listed. Click here to visit the product page.